Melbourne’s Scotch College Dissociates Itself From Presbyterian Church’s Views On Gay Students

Melbourne’s Scotch College Dissociates Itself From Presbyterian Church’s Views On Gay Students
Image: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Scotch College is taking a step back and distancing itself from the Presbyterian church’s views, which believes that sexually active heterosexual or LGBT+ students shouldn’t be school captains.

The school has stressed that it is the school council and not the church that governs the boy’s college.

Scotch College’s school council chairman Alex Sloan addressed the issue in a school letter, stating that the school did “not tolerate discrimination towards our staff or students, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy.”

“We nurture and care for each individual and encourage them to take leadership positions without discrimination,” Sloan said, as reported by the Age.

The federal government is hoping to remove the anti-discrimination exemptions that religious schools are currently privy to. This exemption allows discrimination against students or staff on the grounds of their gender identity, sexual orientation, relationship or pregnancy, or marital status.

The Right To Discriminate

The Presbyterian Church of Australia recently sent a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission, stressing how important it was that its schools “have the freedom to employ staff who are not merely in agreement with our ethos but who also live in a manner consistent with that ethos.”

The church also stated that its schools “do not refuse or terminate enrolments for students on the basis of sexual orientation,” as reported by the Age. But it also reiterated that the schools should possess the right to stop sexually active LGBT+ or heterosexual students from becoming school captains.

“If this [LGBTQ+] student were in an active same-sex relationship, they would not be able to give appropriate Christian leadership in a Christian school which requires modelling Christian living,” the church said.

“This would also be the case for a student in a sexually active unmarried heterosexual relationship.”

“In both cases, the proposal removes from schools the ability to determine an ethos by selecting appropriate leaders.”

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